Thursday, January 19, 2012

Demographia's W. Cox on Honolulu Infrastructure

Wendell Cox of St. Louis based made an interesting presentation at the 36th annual Business and Investment Conference organized by Smart Business Hawaii at the Ala Moana Hotel on January 11. Link to Cox's 1/11/12 slideshow.

Some of his important findings and suggestions include:
  • Honolulu lost 50,000 residents between 2000 and 2009 in terms of domestic migration. Its taxes, jobs, congestion, housing prices, etc. have caused a loss of domestic residents to other Hawaii counties or other states.
  • Hawaii was 8th highest in taxation in 2009 in the U.S.
  • Honolulu housing affordability was the worst in the U.S., about three times worse that the US average!
  • From the U.S., only Los Angeles and Honolulu are included in the 25 most congested cities in the world.
  • Several other cities in the US have gone bankrupt and Honolulu is racing to bankruptcy with multi-billion dollar liabilities (pensions, sewers, rail, etc.)
  • Politicians are ignorant of the fast approaching demographic time bomb of Baby Boomers who are switching from taxable paychecks to pensions and healthcare.
  • Honolulu rail ridership projections are "rosy."
  • Cautions about the rail's budget "You Won’t Know the Bill Until It’s Too Late"